Robot Wants Kitty
Ah, zere you are. Come, sit with me by zee riverside and eat zees baguette and smelly cheese while we wear black-and-white striped shirts. Here, put on zees beret. Do you know, mon ami, that there is one perfect expression of love in zee world? Eet ees zee way a robot endures retro platforming danger, all for his furry friend! Eet ees lovely, no? Zees, jeannot, eez... Robot Wants Kitty. Ah, c'est l'amour!
Like all great love stories, this one begins with the [arrow] keys. Left and right, to be specific, which controls the direction your devoted little robot trundles in. Initially, this is all you can do, which means you're going to spend a lot of time in the beginning fleeing from enemies. Find yourself painfully disintegrating in one too many pits of green acid? Ceiling-mounted, death-spitting aliens got you down? No problem; as you explore the area, you'll discover a number of power ups designed to make the journey for feline companionship a bit easier. From double-jumps to rockets to deadly lasers, er, lazorz, robot has a veritable mechanical arsenal out there if you can find it all.
The goal, of course, is to reach the kitty as fast as possible. Which sounds easy, right? I mean, it's right there where you start the game. But the way to kitty is paved with aliens, locked doors, acid pits, and more. You'll have to be ever vigilant, since a single hit will send your robot back to the start of the game (although you'll retain all your keys and abilities).
Analysis: Is there anything cuter than a tiny pixel robot, arms outstretched for feline friendship? Robot Wants Kitty is full of an old-school charm, from its deceptively simple gameplay to its adorable, retro graphics. The presentation is extremely minimalistic, and yet it still manages to tickle that part of your brain that finds pixels charming and engaging. That is, assuming you're over twenty years old and aren't confused and alarmed at the concept of anything that isn't fully rendered in 3D.
What isn't quite so charming is the instant warp-to-starting-point that occurs whenever you get damaged. It doesn't take long for it to wear out its welcome, veering rapidly from "mild inconvenience" to "it appears my laptop has caught on fire and become lodged within the neighbour's front lawn". Sure the enemies don't reset, but that's not the point. Having to trudge all the way back to where you were an instant ago just because you accidentally dipped a wheel into some corrosive green spit isn't fun, it's work. (Well, not my work. Robot work. Robot work sucks, apparently.) It makes you think the game would have been better off as a succession of progressively more elaborate levels rather than one enormous one. Update: Checkpoints have been added that make this previous paragraph moot.
But the game's biggest oversight is the complete lack of a save feature. Face it; rage quits happen. Or maybe you just don't have the time to complete the game within a single sitting. Whatever the case, the game doesn't allow you the option to pick up where you left off if you close the browser, so bear this in mind when beginning your steel journey.
Despite this, the gameplay is simple to pick up, but just challenging enough to provide a nourishing snack. Why, exactly, does Robot Want Kitty? Who wouldn't! Doesn't that stiff, jutting, pixel fur look warm and inviting to you? Just remember; "Beep, boop" is Robot for "LET ME REND YOUR NUBILE FLESH WITH MY STEEL PINCERS".
... uh, I mean... "I love you!"
Play the entire Robot Wants series...